Facebook could pay $10 to its users if judges rule that the giant social network should be held accountable for the class-action lawsuit filed as a result of its “Sponsored Stories” ads. The decision was adopted after five users sued Mark Zuckerberg for including their names and profile pictures to the sponsored stories published on the network, CNN reports.
Back in April 2011, Facebook found a new method to promote companies on its News Feed page. The social network was provided with the so-called Sponsored Stories ads, which displayed information about Facebook users whenever they liked a company’s page. What’s more annoying, users could not opt out of the option in case they didn’t want their profile pictures and named to be displayed next to the Facebook page they liked.
The campaign displeased many Facebook users, but five individuals were determined to take the case to the court. They filed a lawsuit against the social network and last year, the company had to look for solutions in order to reach a settlement with the users. The company offered to change its service terms, so subscribers could better understand how Sponsored Stories work. Zuckerberg further agreed that $20 million should be included in a settlement fund so that each user would get paid for its participation to the ad.
Both Facebook and the suing parties intended to donate part of the settlement fund to Internet privacy advocacy groups, but the judge in charge of the case thought it would be best if Facebook users received the money directly. His proposal, however, didn’t seem to go along with the large size of the class action, so the two parties had to look for another solution. In the end, they decided that each class member should receive a payment of up to $10 from the settlement fund. The lucky Facebook users will be notified through an email sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t expect to make a fortune just yet; according to the provisions of the class-action lawsuit, the more people make claims, the smaller the payment will be. The legal fees will be deducted from the settlement fund, so the remaining money will be divided among Facebook users. Payments could drop to $1 per individual if the sum of people making claims equals the sum of money in the fund. Should payments become “economically infeasible” the fund will be donated to non-profit advocacy groups.